I met Ro Merrill last year at the Author Day at the San Mateo Public Library — and I immediately adored her. She has bright pink hair, plenty of tattoos, and loves cemeteries. We’ve run into each other a couple more times at the Library and I’ve discovered that I love to hear her read her work in public. Plus, she always has the most amazing dresses! I asked if I could interview her, to get to know her better…and she has a holiday romance out, so it seemed like kismet.
Once upon a time… A teacher, tattoo collector, mom, and rock ‘n’ roll kinda gal opened up a doc and starting purging her demons. Several self-published books and a debut gay romance with Dreamspinner Press later, R.L. Merrill is still striving to find that perfect balance between real-life and happily ever after. She writes stories set in the places she loves most: Hollywood, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Iowa, and Northern California. Ro also loves connecting with other authors online, as well as at the annual Romantic Times Booklovers Convention and chapter meetings for the Romance Writers of America, of which she’s been a member since 2014. A sucker for underdogs, Ro has adopted a wide variety of pets including cats, dogs, rats, snakes, fish, and a chameleon named Godzilla. Her love of horror is evident the moment you walk in her door and find yourself surrounded by decorative skulls and quirky artwork from around the world. You can find her lurking on social media where she loves connecting with readers, or educating America’s youth, being a mom taxi to two busy kids, in the tattoo chair trying desperately to get that back piece finished, or head banging at a rock show near her home in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Dover Billings sold his handcrafted wares at the Dickens Fair in San Francisco for over twenty years. He’s not as outgoing as the other artisans at this yearly Victorian celebration and prefers to observe the festivities from the shadows. That is until a new corset-maker moves into the booth next door and unsettles his carefully constructed life. Landry Malcolm is handsome, well-dressed, and the life of the party… one Dover wants no part of. Too bad he’s attracted to his confident younger rival.
Landry desperately wishes to get through to the beautiful artist next door, but every move he makes seems to be the wrong one…until a drunken kiss seems to break through Dover’s serious demeanor. Miscommunications plague attempts to find common ground, leaving Landry wondering what—if anything—he can do to make things right. Will a custom-made peace offering open the door to friendship, cooperation… and maybe more?
Did something in the real world inspire A Peace Offering?
I shared a classroom for years with a teacher friend who is an actor/participant at the annual Charles Dickens Family Christmas Fair and Holiday Party. The fair has been a huge part of her life for decades. For the weeks leading up to the event every year, I’d hear about her massive preparations: sewing a new dress or undergarments, creating hairpieces, all the building and workshops that would take place. I went to visit her several years at the fair and the transformation of the San Francisco Cow Palace into Victorian London never ceased to amaze me. The fair was fabulous for the actors, the scenery, and the food, but it was the artisans there that I looked forward to seeing every year. I did a lot of my Christmas shopping there, as a matter of fact. So when my publisher put out a call for holiday stories with the theme of “homemade,” I thought what if a smoldering and serious artist was vying with the new corset-maker for the best retail spot at the fair? What kind of sparks could fly at this unique event? A Peace Offering was born. I’m so very proud of this story.
What is your favorite scene in the book?
The drunken kiss in the men’s room at the planning meeting.
What was your writing process like as you wrote the book?
I actually used a tool this time. Amy Lane, authoress extraordinaire, let me look at an early draft of a craft book she’s putting together on writing category romance. She had so many helpful hints, it made the story that much stronger.
What was the best thing that happened during your promotion of the book?
Having folks who attend/work Dickens Fair say they loved it!
What do you have planned next?
SO MUCH WRITING! I’m working diligently to have at least book two in the Summer of Hush series out in 2020, plus there will be more paranormal silliness as part of the Magic and Mayhem Universe PLUS I’ll be featured at Book Lovers Con in Nashville as a hostess of the Rustic Prom and I can’t WAIT! I’ll have goodies for everyone who gets to join me in the VIP room.
Scope out A Peace Offering for the kindle at Amazon: https://amzn.to/35N0lw8 or pick it up direct from the publisher: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-peace-offering-by-rl-merrill-11548-b or find it at your favorite ebook retailer: https://books2read.com/u/4AxDRK.
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